Are you a photography enthusiast looking to showcase your talent and compete with other photographers? Participating in photography competitions can be a great way to gain exposure, receive recognition for your work, and challenge yourself to push the boundaries of your creativity. In this article, we have curated a list of 10 unique photography competitions that you should consider entering. These competitions offer diverse themes, prestigious judging panels, and exciting prizes, making them an excellent opportunity to elevate your photography skills and stand out in the professional photography world.

1. National Geographic Photo Contest

The National Geographic Photo Contest is one of the most renowned and prestigious competitions in the photography world. With categories ranging from nature, people, and places to wildlife and aerial photography, this competition attracts talented photographers from all around the globe. Winning this competition can provide substantial exposure for your work, as winning images are published in National Geographic magazine.

Submission Deadline: Varies, so be sure to check the website for the latest updates.

2. Sony World Photography Awards

The Sony World Photography Awards celebrate the diverse and incredible talent of photographers worldwide. With multiple categories including architecture, street photography, wildlife, portraits, and more, this competition provides a platform for photographers of all genres to showcase their work. The winners of each category receive valuable prizes, including Sony digital imaging equipment.

Submission Deadline: Varies, so check their website for specific dates.

3. International Photography Awards (IPA)

The International Photography Awards (IPA) is an annual competition that recognizes outstanding photographers across various categories, including fine art, advertising, fashion, and documentary photography. The IPA offers significant cash prizes and exposure opportunities to winners, making it a highly sought-after competition in the photography community.

Submission Deadline: Usually in August, so keep an eye on their website for the deadline.

4. LensCulture Exposure Awards

The LensCulture Exposure Awards aim to discover and celebrate global photography talent. This competition seeks to highlight work that pushes the boundaries of conventional photography, encouraging photographers to experiment with different styles and techniques. The selected winners and finalists have their work featured in LensCulture’s online platform, reaching a wide audience of photography enthusiasts and industry professionals.

Submission Deadline: Annually in December.

5. Wildlife Photographer of the Year

The Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition, organized by the Natural History Museum in London, is the most prestigious wildlife photography competition in the world. It attracts both amateur and professional photographers, showcasing the beauty and diversity of the natural world. Winners have their work featured in the annual exhibition held at the Natural History Museum and receive international recognition for their extraordinary images.

Submission Deadline: Usually in February, so check the website for specific dates.

6. Monochrome Photography Awards

The Monochrome Photography Awards celebrate the beauty and elegance of black and white photography. This competition recognizes photographers who excel in capturing the essence and emotions of their subjects through the use of monochrome techniques. With various categories like abstract, fine art, and portrait, the Monochrome Photography Awards provide a platform for photographers to showcase their talent in this timeless art form.

Submission Deadline: Annually in November.

7. Travel Photographer of the Year

The Travel Photographer of the Year competition celebrates stunning travel photography from around the world. This competition is open to both amateur and professional photographers, encouraging them to capture the essence of different cultures, landscapes, and experiences through their images. Winners not only receive valuable prizes but also have their work displayed in international exhibitions.

Submission Deadline: Usually in September, so check their website for specific dates.

8. iPhone Photography Awards

The iPhone Photography Awards (IPPAWARDS) is a unique competition that recognizes the creative potential of mobile photography. This competition exclusively focuses on photographs taken with an iPhone or iPad, showcasing the power of mobile cameras and the skills of photographers who master them. The winning images are exhibited in galleries worldwide and receive recognition for their artistic and technical excellence.

Submission Deadline: Annually in March.

9. World Press Photo Contest

The World Press Photo Contest is dedicated to recognizing and celebrating the best visual journalism in the world. This competition highlights powerful and thought-provoking images that capture important social, environmental, and political issues. Winning this competition can provide tremendous exposure for photographers, as winning images are exhibited globally and featured in World Press Photo’s annual publication.

Submission Deadline: Usually in January, so be sure to check their website for the most up-to-date information.

10. Photo District News (PDN) Photo Annual

The PDN Photo Annual is a highly regarded competition that recognizes outstanding photography across various genres, including editorial, commercial, and personal work. Winning this competition can significantly elevate your professional profile, as winning images are featured in PDN’s online galleries and print publications, reaching a large and influential audience in the photography industry.

Submission Deadline: Annually in February.


Participating in photography competitions is an excellent way to grow as a photographer and gain recognition for your work. The competitions mentioned in this article offer unique themes, prestigious judging panels, and exciting prizes, making them ideal opportunities to showcase your talent. Whether you specialize in nature photography, street photography, or any other genre, there is a competition out there that can provide the platform you need to take your photography to the next level. So, don’t hesitate to enter these competitions, get out there, and show the world your unique perspective through your lens!